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Transferring Family Tree Maker files from one computer to another

Transferring Family Tree Maker files from one computer to another

Answer ID 3916
How do I transfer a Family Tree Maker file from one computer to another?

In order to successfully transfer your files from one computer to another, you will first need to have Family Tree Maker installed on both computers. Family Tree Maker has two basic versions – PC and Mac. These are purchased separately, so if you have both a PC and a Mac you will need to buy both versions in order to transfer files between your computers. You will also need a removable storage device (such as a burnable CD/DVD, a thumb or flash drive, or an external hard drive) to move your files.

This article discusses the following:

 

Transferring files between Family Tree Maker 2014 and Mac 3

Mac 3 and Family Tree Maker 2014 files are fully compatible with each other. No conversion process is necessary.

 

Converting Your File

This step is necessary if you are transferring your file from a PC to a Mac or vice versa. If both of your computers are the same type (2 PCs or 2 Macs) you can skip to the next section titled Exporting Your File.

Older Family Tree Maker (versions 1 – 16) to Family Tree Maker for Mac
If you are transferring an .FTW or .FBK file from Family Tree Maker version 5 – 16 to Family Tree Maker for Mac, you will not need to convert the file prior to transferring. You can skip to the next section, Exporting Your File.

.FBC files, and any files from Family Tree Maker versions 1 – 4, will need to be converted using the 2005 Starter Edition of Family Tree Maker. For instructions on installing and running this program, please click the link below.

Once you have used the 2005 Starter Edition to open your file, the software will create a new .FTW file in the 2005 Starter Edition format. Please make note of the location in which the file is saved (usually in a folder called Family Tree Maker within your Documents folder unless you specify otherwise), and see the section of this article titled Transferring Your File.

Family Tree Maker 2008 – 2011 to Family Tree Maker for Mac 1 or 2

To transfer a file from Family Tree Maker 2008-2011 to Family Tree Maker for Mac 1 or 2, you will need to use our File Migration Utility to convert the file into a format that your other computer will be able to read. For instructions on installing and running the FileMigration Utility, please click on the link below.

Once your file is converted, you can skip to the section on Transferring Your File.

Family Tree Maker 2012-2014 to Family Tree Maker for Mac 1 or 2
To transfer a file from Family Tree Maker 2012 to Family Tree Maker for Mac 1 or 2, you first will need to export your file to a format that the File Migration Utility can convert into a Mac file. Please follow the instructions the article titled Export your Family Tree Maker file and make sure in Step 3 to choose the output format of 2010 or 2011. You can then use the File Migration Utility to convert your newly exported file to the Mac format.

Once your file is converted, you can skip to the section on Transferring Your File.

Family Tree Maker for Mac 1 or 2 to Family Tree Maker 2008-2014
To transfer a file from Family Tree Maker for Mac to Family Tree Maker 2008-2014, you will need to use our File Migration Utility to convert the file into a format that your other computer will be able to read. For instructions on installing and running the File Migration Utility, please click on the link below.

Once your file is converted, you can skip to the section on Transferring Your File.


Exporting Your File

When you export your family tree, you are creating a new file with all your data, information, and media items bundled into it. The original file will remain on your first computer unchanged so you can safely move the newly exported file onto your second computer. Please see one of the following articles for instructions on exporting your file, based on the version of Family Tree Maker you have installed on your first computer.

Note: In Step 5 of both the above articles, you will choose a location to save the newly exported file. We recommend choosing the Desktop to ensure you can easily locate your file for the next step, transferring.


Transferring Your File

How to Transfer a File Using a PC

  1. Exit out of Family Tree Maker.
  2. Find the location of your newly exported file (if you followed the note in the previous section, the icon will be located on your desktop).
  3. Right-click on the file and select Copy.
    • At this point, if you are going to save your file to a CD, rather than right clicking on the file and selecting Copy, you can open your CD creating software and use it to write this file to a disc. As each CD creating program is different, if you require assistance in this process, please consult the instruction manual for the software.
    • The following article may provide some assistance in buring a CD in Windows 7 or Vista:
      Burn a CD or DVD in Windows Explorer

  4. This file is now ready to be pasted (copied) to your USB flash drive. After inserting your USB flash drive into an open USB port, please click the Start menu and select My Computer from the right.
    • Windows Vista & 7 users - Click the Start menu and select Computer.

  5. In the window that opens, find your USB flash drive listed here and open it.

  6. Right click on some blank space in this window. A menu will appear. Please click Paste from this menu.

  7. Your file will now be copied to your USB flash drive. Once this process is complete, you should see the file listed on your flash drive.
    • Depending on the size of your file, this process can take a few minutes.

  8. You can now unplug this flash drive from this computer and plug it into your other computer.
  9. Once the flash drive is inserted into your other computer, you will need to copy your file onto this computer prior to restoring it in Family Tree Maker.

    Note: If your second computer is a Mac, go to the next sub-section on Transferring Files Using a Mac, starting on Step 8.

  10. From the Start menu, select Computer/My Computer.
  11. In the window that opens, find your USB flash drive and open it by double-clicking on the drive icon.
  12. Find the icon for your family file on your flash drive. Please right click on it and select Copy.
  13. On your desktop, right-click anywhere in the empty space and select Paste.

 

How to Transfer a File Using a Mac

  1. Close Family Tree Maker
  2. Find the icon for your newly exported family file on your desktop. Please ctrl-click on it and select Copy.
    • At this point, if you are going to save your file to a CD, rather than ctrl-clicking on the file and selecting Copy, you can select Burn [Tree name] to Disc… More information regarding burning a disc can be found here.

  3. This file is now ready to be pasted (copied) to your USB flash drive. After inserting your USB flash drive into an open USB port, please double-click its icon from the desktop to open it.

  4. CTRL-click on some blank space in this window. A menu will appear. Please click Paste Item from this menu.

  5. Your file will now be copied to your USB flash drive. Once this process completes, you should see the file listed on your flash drive.
    • Depending on the size of your file, this process can take a few minutes.

  6. You can now eject the flash drive from your Mac and plug it in to your other computer.
  7. Once the flash drive is inserted into your other computer, you will need to copy your file onto this computer prior to restoring it in Family Tree Maker.

    Note: If your second computer is a PC, please go to the previous sub-section on Transferring Files Using a PC, starting on Step 9.

  8. After inserting your USB flash drive into an open USB port, please double-click its icon from the desktop to open it.
  9. Find the icon for your family file on the flash drive. Please CTRL-click on it and select Copy.
  10. On your desktop, CTRL-click anywhere in the empty space and select Paste.


Restoring Your File

Now that your file has been copied to your second computer, you can simply restore it in Family Tree Maker. Please see one of the following articles for more instruction in the restoration process, depending on which version of Family Tree Maker is on the destination computer.

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